Unlike the heart muscle, the musculature of the locomotive organs has the capacity to heal itself. What makes this possible are muscle-specific stem cells known as satellite cells. Located on the muscle fibres, these cells can multiply when necessary and replace damaged muscle cells. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research recently succeeded in elucidating the role of an important factor in the regulation of self-healing. One of the ways this knowledge could be used in the future is in engineering optimal conditions for creating replacement stem cells in the lab, thereby producing a potential way of treating degenerative muscle diseases.